tv Countdown With Keith Olbermann MSNBC October 22, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EST
which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow such the plot to buy america? illinois republican senate candidate candidate's fund-raising with american business people in china. the next day he votes no on closing tax loopholes that encourage american corporations to ship jobs to china and other foreign countries. this while the united states chamber of commerce campaigns against kirk's opponent with this. >> does anyone think he can create jobs? >> here or in china? rove's latest job, his pac at $7 million from the puppeteer of the swift boaters.
n delaware, she insists she won the debate about separation of church and state. >> we were high-fiving each other thinking we had exposed he doesn't know the first amendment. then when we read the reports that said the opposite, we were all like, what. >> in ohio, rich hyatt is even more trouble. the strangest election in nearly a century and a half. my special guest on the mid-terms, on the tea party and the threat to democracy from secret and foreign campaign spending, on the re-emergence of george w. bush in the campaign. the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, all the news and commentary new on "countdown."
good evening from new york. this is thursday, october 21st, 12 days until the 2010 mid-term elections. if you thought the issue of secret mills air money was starting to play a big role in this election, wait till you see the documents that just got leaked from one republican senate campaign. it's money of rich people happy to move american jobs overseas if it will boost the corporate profits that pay the fat cat salaries of the people at the top. wait until you hear our exclusive interview of how much more america's richest are making than you. the chamber of commerce on outsourcing of american jobs. mark kirk of illinois. illinois has lost more than 1 quarter million jobs to china. that has not stopped kirk from
telling chinese officials not to believe the u.s. government budget figures. one of 15 members of congress to vote against the bush administration reviewing the sell of american oil company unical to champion. according to documents, holding a fund-raiser this past may by video conference with donors in beijing, kirk's campaign telling the blog the fund-raiser was attended by a dozen american business people in beijing, refusing to release their name. the next day, congressman kirk voted against closing american tax loopholes which reward u.s. companies for sending jobs overseas. the u.s. times is reporting half of the u.s. chamber's $149 million in contributions in 2008 came from 45 donors, many donations coinsiding with lobbying efforts that would benefit those companies.
the money spent to help kirk beat his democratic rival. also, actively working to promote closing tax loopholes. the plum line blog reports it's up with a new campaign in 28 races, including kirk. raising funds from americans overseas is legal and democrats do it too. why is this time and different? >> the chamber is running $75 million of attack ads. you showed some of them. i think it's important to know if the chamber is trying to influence the outcome of our elections, people deserve to know who's behind those ads.
the chamber is a proud outsourcers. if jobs is a central issue, we need to know the chamber is advocating for the outsourcing of jobs and receiving money from firms benefitting from outsourcing to run those ads in a lot of these districts. >> why do republicans want to ship u.s. jobs overseas? >> i think it benefits them. i think certainly in the case of mark kick, he's receiving a lot of donations from chinese firms he's helping to coach in outsourcing. we know that carly fiorina has been an advocate of outsourcing. we know pat toomey believes that corporations shouldn't have any roles in regulations at all. he, again, is somebody who is benefitting greatly from corporations who are shipping jobs overseas and making a lot of money and sending it to their campaigns.
at the bottom line level, they're receiving a lot of money and they're backed by people who are getting great benefit from shipping jobs overseas. >> with no corporate regulations, 1893 was such a good year in this country. the foreign money obviously is the visceral thing and got a lot of play. is there a bigger point that transcends foreign money and corporate american money, that it's the same agenda getting pushed down people's throats? >> i think the agenda is the overlooked portion. i think a lot of the firms that don't want to be known are shuttling money to the chamber in the hopes that the chamber will do all the tackling for them. they'll run the plays on the field. the corporations will hide out in the sky box suite and hope that nobody pays attention. that's our goal. to be sure that the people funding these ads, who have the sxwraenld agenda if republicans take over, we'll have a total change. like we had a swift boating of
john kerry, we have a swift boating of the economy. if they can get away with it in 2010 and funnel all this money in without regulations and buy off seats, who knows what they'll do in 2012, right? >> swift boat's financier sent money to karl rove. this "new york times" study of the corporate filings and the glenn beck's claims and this nonsense that the u.s. chamber is mom and pop stores. big surprise, it is a monster that is bought and controlled by the largest multinational corporations in the world. 12 days to go before the mid-terms. is there a chancing this changes the mid-it terms? >> i think so and i hope so. to your point, why do
corporations give money to the chamber? is the chamber has a reputation as being very popular. you know the quote from "the new york times" that half the money they got just from 45 corporations. then we know that american crossroads is getting a bulk of its money from a handful of corporations. you've documented a hedge fund person in new york bank rolling a bunch of attack ads by himself. i think what americans need to know is there are 580,000 people who donated to obama. they've got a list of 13 million people. on the opposite side are a small number of people, like a small number of corporations trying to steal all this away from him. >> thanks as always. >> thank you. >> the chamber of commerce is only the largest star in a constellation of corporate cash. unyou like the chamber, some of the others have political action committees which are required to disclose their donors. karl rove's group, crossroads, has both kinds. we might have some insight into
his secret group on who he has to disclose about his public pac. the new filings revealing crossroads raised $15 million in the last six weeks. more than two-thirds coming from four men. one, robert perry. he wrote rove a check for 2 million in september. another on october 4th. another the following day. a check for 1 million, some sort of tip on october 12th. that accounted for almost half of rove's election season donations. what does overdo with that money? he runs ads like this one in nevada against harry reid. his ads have been debunked months ago by politico and even the nevada sun. they ask nevada voters whether they're sick of negative ads? >> senator harry reid. for 27 years -- wait a minute -- are you tired of all these negative political ads?
how you about just the facts. >> except that the ad then goes on to repeat the same bogus claims debunked months ago. republican johnson is also benefitting from the negative ads. here is johnson asked by the green bay press gazette for his jobs plan. >> your jobs plan is to cut spending. >> i would say we've got to curb spending. it's not a tax problem. it's a spending problem. >> what about the middle class? i hear you talking a lot about businesses, but what is your for the middle class? >> we have to get the economy moving.
>> the green bay press gazette endorsed johnson's rival, senator russ feingold. it had endorsed feingold's every single election until this one. in fairness to mr. johnson, he announced the vagueness on part of his details is part of his approach, not just on jobs but when he was asked how to help homeless veterans. >> i can't really -- i don't have all the details. you know, one thing i will point out. i don't believe in having all the details. >> as promised, a quick note about how rich the beneficiaries of the lack of details are getting already. tax reporter david k. johnson will be reporting at tax.com on monday new information about american wages. johnson, a friend of this news hour, revealing to "countdown," while the number of people fell in the top category of income earners, 50 million a year and
up, the average income of those top-earning americans rose from 91 million in 2008 to 519 million last year. as he puts it, the 74 americans in the top wage category made just as much money as the 19 million americans who made the least. somewhere in between, let's bring in msnbc analyst howard finemann. >> way to the bottom. >> not quite that kind of raise. let me go back to this extraordinary piece in "the new york times." i urge everybody to go through you it eight times. it seems the paper pulled the disguise off the chamber and revealed what is going on there. the faces are all familiar corporate rate logos. >> it's like in the wizard of oz where toto pulls the curtains off. it's companies like prudential or texaco or dow chemical.
may my favorite is aig. the foundation of which gave tons of money to the chamber. not surprisingly aig is the biggest entity in the world that received taxpayer bailout money. aig still owes the american taxpayers $100 million. >> this came on the same day we learned how concentrated mr. rove's backing is as well and just the donations we know about, let alone the secret stuff. if class warfare still has a few battles left -- if it is not the upper class having won the whole thing already, it would seem we see the battlefield overall in something of a different way. it's not about big business, it's literally fewer than a thousand people, not just in this country, a thousand people all around the world bank rolling virtually the entire half of the republican debate right now. that's not an exaggeration. >> it's not an exaggeration. the great irony is this is the
kind of thing one would think that the tea party people would be furious about. in other words, the tea party -- and i've been to a lot of their rallies -- they're worried about unseen powers they can't control. big boys running things out of washington. the big boys really running things in this election are the people at the chamber of commerce. there's no question about it. it's become almost a branch of government, an unseen branch of government. behind them are the handfuls of people and corporations that you're talking about. yes, they have share hold residence we could argue about that. there are decisions being made in many cases without input from the shareholders themselves. this is the thing you could get tea party people angry about. certainly the american people should be. >> i imagine it's too late to move the needle up too much for election day. what are the implications in 2012?
>> i don't think it's entirely too late. i discovered this in philadelphia talking to representative bob brady. i said, what's moving the votes, if anything? he said, you wouldn't think so but the question about who's paying for all these ads. here inside the belt way we dismiss that as a process story. people wouldn't be interested to that. according to brady, an old school guy, people late in the game are getting interested in it. i think it sets the table for what all the arguments are going to be when the lame duck session comes back and the entire next session of congress. >> ask comedians on the tbs television network perform nothing offends people more than seeing the same commercial again and again. it's a way to defeat yourself. thanks for your time tonight. we have barely scratched the surface of the madness of this tea party.
not only does she think she won the debate over church and state in the constitution, she thinks she settled the witch controversy and thought she canceled the "i'm not a witch commercial." asked to name a supreme court justice with which he disagreed in the last two decades, he answered dred scott. >> couldn't get any worse for this candidate, could it? >> and the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. ♪ met an old man a ♪ asked him if he d a secret ♪ ♪ and the old man stopped and thought and said: ♪ ♪ free 'cause that's how it ought to be my brother ♪ ♪ credit 'cause you'll need a loan for one thing or another ♪ ♪ score 'cause they break it down to one simple number ♪ ♪ that you can use
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stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. 36-hour cialis or cialis for daily use. ask your doctor if cialis is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. the thought that the nation needs you to serve it in elected office is necessarily tinged by some degree of separation from reality. just as deciding that people need to hear what you say on television. there's tinged and living on a plane with union corns and flat earth societieses and christine, you're so dumb how do you find the door every day o'donnell. she's claiming victory by dint of not understanding the first amendment of the constitution to the united states. as she tells it, it was her opponent who was ill-informed.
>> we were high-fiving thinking we had exposed he didn't know the first amendment. when we read the reports that said the opposite, we were like, what? >> her campaign in one word, what? the latest delaware senate debate providing another stumper for ms. o'donnell. >> give me a name of someone in the u.s. senate across the aisle you're comfortable working with. >> well, she's not a senator anymore, but i would definitely have to say hillary clinton. >> after koons names lindsey graham, he had his answer. >> if we have someone who can't name a currently serving senator with whom she would work, this is not someone who wants to be there.
>> meanwhile, proving he's comfortable working with the big oil interest, ken buck of colorado campaigning with well-known environmentalist james inhoff. buck praised him for standing up, saying global warming is is the greatest hoax. here's gop candidate and former nfl offensive tackle jon runyon, adding his name to the growing list of tea party-backed candidates. his opponent asked the following question. >> can you give me an example of the last ten or 15 years of a supreme court decision with which you disagree? >> that i strongly disagree with? dred scott.
>> he wasn't much of an offensive tackle either. my apologies for identifying him as being from pennsylvania. he played in pennsylvania and running for office in jersey. no wonder that one of the founders of the tea party movement, karl denninger calls all this joke. >> we began with the premise that fraud is wrong. it stayed that way for a month. and the moneyed interests came in and basically took it back. they said, if you go down this road, then we won't get any more campaign contributions. the republican party essentially put the kibosh on this. >> he used slightly more colorful language in a blog entry calling out sarah palin, newt gingrich and bob barr and his word not mine -- doucheback,
groups sufas the tea party. he said this was nothing other than the republican party stealing back the party and fraudulently redirecting it back toward all the people who stole all the blanking money. now you to collin thomas frank author of "the wrecking crew." how are you? >> i'm fine. how are you, keith? >> i'm stunned by his comments. will they have any impact or he gets to go to the virtual guillotine with everybody else? >> that he's denouncing them, is that going to have an impact? i would say not. i would disagree with him to some degree. i think his heart is in the right place. i like the things he's saying.
i went to the first rally in february '09. it's the same people there today. a bunch of guys from dick armey's group and the think tank people from here in d.c. a lot of people in three-cornered hats. it's weird how stable the thing has remained. you've got oosh it's accreted a lot of strange characters like christine o'donnell, yeah. >> as to ms. o'donnell, she claims she wanted to kill the "i'm not a witch" ad before it ran. if it had not worked, would she be saying that? >> no. of course not. nobody everybody wants to -- when someone designs a lousy ad campaign, they want to distance themselves. hot potato. they want to get rid of it as quickly as they can. there's something about
christine o'donnell that i think it's important to bring up. she's a lot of fun to talk about. it's great to make fun of her. she says she's constantly got her foot in her mouth and always saying stupid things. here's what i'm getting at, eating. ever since i have been paying attention to politics, liberals like you and me have been -- i don't know, liberals like me -- i'm sorry, i shouldn't -- i am the problem in america, right? i am the liberal. but people like me have been making fun of conservatives for being dumb and getting things wrong. they sold all these books about ronald reagan misremembering things. we've been making fun of them for their spelling errors on their signs at the tea party rallies. it's a blast to make fun of someone like sarah palin. you've got to remember their critique of us is ready to go. the liberal elite, right? these eggheads. they call us the ruling class. people that went to college and
think they're smarter than you. >> people went to the tenth grade. >> i know. it is ridiculous. but it's also -- it works. you've got to remember that. whenever we criticize them for slip-ups like that, we come off looking like snobs. >> but you in one case, it may not be lack of knowledge. that sound bite of mr. runyon, when they say dred scott, there's a dog whistle that has something to do with roe v. wade. >> when they bring up slavery. when i was in kansas, they would talk you about things like that and the abolitionist movement. it goes back to the anti-abortion movement. it's a way of talking about the anti-abortion movement that's not as controversial. >> sorry to interrupt you there.
the speaker of the house on the mid-terms, the re-emergence of george w. bush. the topic is the fire of juan williams by npr saying he gets nervous traveling with someone in muslim attire. >> it's amazing that freedom of speech is translated to mean you can't fire me for violating my contract. which reminds me to mention to the obtuse mr. williams, as if the 9/11 murderers were wearing turbans or something. let's play "oddball." we begin in kansas city with a monkey on the loose. a pet chimp broke loose from its restraints. suddenly the pissed-off primate
smashes the police car. nobody hurt. animal being held in a sanctuary for the time being. probably way beyond suggesting keeping a pet chimp is a really dangerous idea, right. in sports, break out the poles. down goes frazier. plenty of time to recoup your lost time. he's off again. and really, another fall. come on, fellow. it isn't a slope. cross-country witch this. lon. now to japan. she represents a big advancement in the humanoid robot department. she lifts her arms and talks and walks. she must do one more thing.
congressional districts of the united states. house speaker nancy pelosi would join us in a moment. the voting has already begun. 3 million americans have cast ballots in early voting. in many states, democrats have an edge. the survey does not measure how you people voted but whether the early voters were democrats than republicans. more democrats voting in iowa, north carolina and louisiana. republicans outnumberinging democrats in florida and colorado. it's basically a draw for now at least in maine and ohio. overall, republicans have made gains in early voting compared to their own numbers two years ago. with that as preface, joining me is the speaker of the house of representatives and the congressman from the eighth congressional district, nancy pelosi. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> i want to talk about "the new york times" report on the chamber of commerce. the donations in 2008 came from 45 donors. half of the total of 149 million from 45 donors, it's the nation's largest lobby group, representing a constituency in double digits without
identifying who gave it its money. did you know the chamber was so concentrated toward the super rich? >> it's interesting because they have 300,000 members. half the money coming from 45 corporations. it's a bigger issue. it's about our democracy. they give new meaning to the term buy american. they want to buy these elections. elections are always about the future. you know that, keith. what is our vision for taking america forward? this is also about our democracy. if they win, which i fully intend to stop them from doing -- but if they were to win, it would mean we were now an oligarchy. whatever these few secret, wealthy unlimited sources of money are can control our entire joend. agenda. >> we get vags outlines of who we're dealing with.
prudential, 2 million when they were launching the offensive against regulating wall street. dow chemical, 1.7 million as they were working against tighter regulations of chemical facilities. how do we fix our laws after that supreme court decision so we're no longer to attempts to control this control? >> it's clear there are those who want to block wall street reform. some of the greatest reforms in decades and for consumer protections, the biggest in our nation's history. there are those who want to stop creating good, clean energy jobs. you see energy and chemical companies who want to stop that. they have an agenda that is counter thats reforms we have put forth. what we have to do is say to them, stand by your ad. you're so proud of yourself, identify yourself.
that's what the disclose act in congress would have done. we passed it in the house. there are 59 votes in the senate. we couldn't get one republican to say, disclosure is the right thing to do. the court made a terrible decision, it was industrial to the fundamentals of democracy. >> you've spoken extensively about it and the president. we've reported about it. has the message gotten through in time for the mid-terms? >> the president mentioned this in the state of the union address. this goes back a long way. that was very important for him to do. he, again, has kept that beat going. because it is essential and fundamental to our democracy that we not have it be wholly owned subsidiary of these corporations be partner of the chamber of commerce.
as far as the message coming through through, our members getting hit, 7 to 1, brutal in terms of negative ads. some of them -- one of the secret organizations is asking the hispanic community not to vote, to depress the vote. and the impact of some of these ads, they're so on negative, is to depress the vote. this is a real challenge to our democracy. and members are getting the word forward. it's important to make the link. it's not just that wall street is contributing to whatever political beliefs they have. they want to stop wall street reform. the republicans have been very clear. if they take office, they will not allow funding to go forth to implement new reforms. same thing with energy companies and health insurance companies. the list goes on and on. you have to make the link. not only are they weighing in. what did i see that perhaps $7 million was contributed by the swift boaters? >> to rove's pac, yes.
>> we have a distortion to the democratic system. this is not just about the election future. it's our future and democracy. >> in this election, will there be a political upset on november 2nd? and how would you define upset? >> i always say remain calm. i'd rather be in our position than the republicans' position. our members are battle ready and believe in what they're fighting for. the ones under challenge have come from very difficult districts. i harken back to '06 when we took the house. the president was in the 30s. president bush was in the 30s. the war in iraq was raging and a very big issue among the voters. and we won 30 seats. in order for the republicans to take the house, they have to win 40-some seats. i just think it's a big hurdle. i think we're in a better position.
we have the candidates. we have the issues. we have the grassroots. the only place -- we but won. the reason they came in big with this money is they knew we were going to win. >> it's the big leveller. >> they deluge, drown out the voices of the american people. we have to fight. i believe that we will win. >> do you see the backlash in a lot of the house races comparably to the senate races in terms of the secret money? do you see it either just by feel of touch and experience that there is a blowback against that, that is favoring the democrats because are beginning to realize that the republicans are fundeded by shadowy groups with anonymous money? >> secret money, yes. what's also important to note is that when washington was stirring all of this in july and during the august break, when our members came back after the august break, they said this is a washington story. this is not what we're seeing in
our districts. our districts have always been difficult. some of the districts we won, president obama got 35%. so one district in maryland, he got under 30%. these are difficult districts. they were not minimizing the challenge that was there. they just said, some of us have tea party, some don't. but they're not really that big a factor in our district. again, they're ready for the fight out there to do so. yes, 70% of the american people who know about these undisclosed, unlimited, unidentified ads say it's not right. if more people know about it, the better. and when it is linked to stopping wall street form, health care care and clean energy jobs for the future. >> give me a moment. i'd like to take a quick commercial break and ask you about former president bush to
part in bringing college democrats back to power and widening democratic majority two years ago. nancy pelosi became the first woman in history to take the gavel as speaker of the house of representatives. the former president spoke in chicago today and said his greatest failure as president was not passing as he called it, social security reform. the softball is headed your way. you can pick which favorite member of the san francisco giants you would like to pretend to be as you swing on it. please give me your response to that. >> i thank the president for validating the point we made during the campaign. when we were saying that the president initiated the idea that he wanted to privatize social security, people said we were exaggerating and we were fearmongers and the rest and it wasn't so. we stayed our course. he gave us a gift then and he's the gift that keeps on giving. he's giving us a gift now. he's proving the point. that's what he intended to do.
i remember during the course of that campaign, i was speaking with him as one of our leadership breakfasts. i said, mr. president, i understand you're going to 60 cities in i don't know how many days. i want you to go to 120 days. when we go there, we will be inoculating before you go threat and educating after you leave. that social security as a pillar of our social security for our seniors and american people. we will make that differentiation. you know, after it was over and we won, i said, mr. president, the results are in. he said, actually, i achieved my goal. i really wanted to call attention to the situation. >> okay. weeks he also provided something else during this campaign. there's been a lot of criticism that the democrats did not take -- obviously the house doesn't operate in a vacuum. but the democrats didn't take advantage of a winning position, bush tax cuts for the rich and
if you want to call them democratic tax cuts for everybody else. the house adjourned without having a vote on this. to the degree you let that happen, why did you let that happen? >> we could have taken the vote and we would have known. knowing the distortion that the republicans would have applied to that, i said, they're going to be political. we're not giving it. we know what our position is. it's a tax cut for everyone, it's just not an additional tax cut for the people in the top 2% in our country. everybody gets the tax cut, they just don't get more at the top 2%. knowing how they would distort it, the president's clear in his campaign and his message about that. it would cost $700 billion to give an extra tax cut to the people at the top 2%. $700 billion added to the deficit with no performance. in other words, when that happened before, it did not produce jobs.
>> obviously. >> speaking of jobs, i want to say -- because i think everybody should know in the first eight months of 2010, did you know, more private sector jobs were created under the obama administration, democratic congress and entrepreneurial spirit of the american people, more private sector jobs were created in the first eight months of 2010 than in the eight years of the bush administration? >> let me close with this last question. do you expect to be speaker want house in january 2011? >> the democrats intend to win. what's important is that we have a democratic majority to protect what we have done. something very big, health care for all americans as a right, not a privilege. wall street reform, to give more leverage to working families in our country. affordability for college education. they want to reverse this and our democratic victory will prevent that. it's about the future, moving america forward, not going back to the failed policies of the past, which they said they would
do. the same exact agenda. it's about taking the agenda from those who want to buy it. >> thanks to you for doing that. safe travels in the next 12 days. >> thank you very much. breaking news tonight from arizona. a congressman will join us confirming that a letter was sent to his office with a toxic substance. he'll have the details after this. are you suffering from frequent heartburn ?
co-chair of the house progressive caucus had been shut down by police tonight after that office received a package of, quote, confirmed toxic substance. this from a spokesman for the congressman. the envelope was adorneded with swastika swastikas. this is the third such incident for congressman grijalva since he spoke out about illegal immigrants. is everybody all right? >> everybody is all right. this is the third time we've had windows shot out and somebody convicted of threats to the office. we get this continuing mail which puts a lot of innocent people in danger, constituents. it's a disturbing pattern.
all of us in the nation are in a tough election. but there is still room for a little bit of civility and understanding, that this is not the way the system works. the system works by this is the way the system works, not by how you threaten and intimidate people. this is unfortunately the disturbing trend that goes beyond anger and toward hatred and trying to hurt people. i can't even describe it. >> not to ask you to tell us more than the police would have us know, are there any details about this. does anyone know what was in it or if anything was written inside it? >> no. all i can confirm to you was the swastikas that were part of the mailing and all i can confirm is this is a pattern. this is a continuing type of mailings we've been receiving.
this contained a you powder. wisely, the staff at the office immediately called the capitol police and the local police responded and the fbi have responded. >> the politico report that it was a toxic substance. is that confirmed? >> yeah. the toxicity to it, the confirmation to its level of danger is still to be determined. >> and would you assume or want to not assume at this point that this had has some connection to your stance on the immigration battle? >> this pattern of a tax against the office, threats, began with our outspoken opposition to 10-70. unfortunately, you know, it's brought a lot of other people that shouldn't be part of it into this it whole dilemma. like i said, it's part of an in intimidation that we're not going to tolerate. we're looking forward to the fbi prosecuting that